I sat down with the star of the upcoming film, Survive The Game, Swen Temmel. We spoke about the early days of his career, including how he got started, what it was like working with Bruce Willis and what is next for the actor.
Survive the Game comes out in theaters and will be available anywhere you rent movies (VOD/Digital) on Oct. 8 and is available on Blu-ray/DVD on Oct. 12.
Richard Valero: What was your first job in Hollywood?
Swen Temmel: The first big paid gig was Young and the Restless. I played a young Victor on the show. I got the call and I was just over the moon.
RV: What were some of your early influences when you first got into acting?
ST: My dad owned a restaurant in Santa Monica and it was popular amongst actors like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis and Sylvester Stallone. So I was always around them. And when I went to the movies, I would see them on the movie screen and I was so taken back by these people were real people making me feel these emotions and taken me on this emotional roller coaster. So those guys were the first people who influenced me to get into the acting world and decide to go the path I went.
RV: You play Cal in the upcoming movie, Survive The Game. What attracted you to this role?
ST: I just think I related to him very much, because he is sort of go get it and think about it afterward kind of guy. He is very foolish at the beginning as he leaves his partner behind to chase after the bad guys without giving much thought to the consequences. I related a little bit to that, I think there is a part of me that is similar to that. The love and the friendship he has with his partner, which Bruce Willis plays, there is a connection to that. Also, the script is so much fun between the car crashes, the fistfights and the gunfights, I couldn’t say no.
RV: How did you prepare for the fight scenes?
ST: Lots of stretching, there is a lot of stretching involved because otherwise, you are going to be really sore. I have done a few action movies in the past, I’ve been around that kind of stuff. There is always something new you have to learn or something new you face every time you do a movie. You have to think on your feet and stay nimble and the biggest thing is you have to have fun because if you don’t have fun, it will be miserable.
RV: The on-screen chemistry between you and Chad Michael Murray was a lot of fun. How did that dynamic come about off the screen to come to fruition on the screen?
ST: It is really easy to get along with Chad. He is an overall amazing human being. The second I met him, there was an automatic friendship and a bond between the two of us. It wasn’t too difficult to convey that on the screen. Of course, we hung out outside of filming, and we had gone to dinner a few times with his wife and his amazing kids. There was a friendship built off the screen which helped the chemistry on the screen. Like I said, he is a phenomenal guy so it was easy to work with him.
RV: What was it like working next to Bruce Willis?
ST: If you had told me this at the beginning of my career, I wouldn’t have believed you. To come from the start to playing partners with Bruce Willis, I don’t think there are words to describe it other than saying working with my childhood hero. Who hasn’t watched Die Hard and all his movies? It took a minute for me to compose myself because ‘HOLY SHIT’ I am working with Bruce Willis. That’s incredible. It was a dream come true. I had worked with Bruce in the past, but not in this capacity. He is a generally good guy and has fun on the set. When you are in the moment with him, he loves to improvise his lines so you never know what is going to come at you and so you always have to stay on your feet, which adds a level of interest because you never know what is coming. You got to stay on your feet and stay in character. He is a great human being, I loved working with him and I hope to work with him again in the future.
RV: Is there an actor or director you haven’t worked with that you would like to work with?
ST: Actor-wise, I’ve always loved Morgan Freeman, I would love to work with him. He has played everything from a janitor to God. As far as directors are concerned, I would love to work with Steven Spielberg. He has made some of the best movies we know. Other than that, Liam Neeson, there is a bucket list of people I haven’t worked with, but I have worked with some greats like Robert De Niro and Al Pacino, but I would love to work with Morgan Freeman. I think he seems like a cool guy and his voice, nothing beats that.
RV: He has that majestic voice about him.
ST: He could literally say anything and make it sound good. He could read the newspaper to you in the morning and make it sound like the most majestic thing you’ve heard in your entire life.
RV: Before we go, what upcoming projects can you tell us about?
ST: I have a movie coming out, American Boogeywoman coming out on Oct. 8 with Peyton List. It’s about the serial killer Aileen Wuornos, and it’s like a prequel to Monster with Charlize Theron.